Vermont Summer Love

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I love summer.

I love the long, hot days, the refreshing dips in the cool lake, the summery meals with homemade salsa and fresh watermelon, and the buzzing sounds of feisty bugs in the bushes. There is a particular bug-sound that I have not been able to place yet, something between a cicada and a katydid and a lawnmower, but it invariably makes me smile. It’s just a happy sound.

So…. I recently had a reminder of summer, and a reminder to smile.

It had been a long, hot, sticky day, very un-typical of Vermont, but very pleasant – and night brought a wonderful breath of coolness.

I had spent a couple of hours that morning, washing the many windows in our house, and eyeing with a feeling of satisfaction the clean, fresh glass that indicated hard work accomplished. I’d even removed one of the screens in Ibs’ and my room, to scrub out the difficult little corners of the windowsill, and without the screen the outdoors looked wonderfully closer.

The windows were open all day to let in the breeze, and I only closed the screen-less one well after dark when I headed to bed.

I was too late.

But it only hit me after I’d been trying to get to sleep for a few minutes. The room was dark and quiet, save for the steady rhythm of our ceiling fan, and occasional chuckles from Ibs (she had thought up a good tease for me and was wondering if I was still awake). 

That’s when I heard a low whining sort of buzz, the muffled flutter of prickly wings, and then a small but unmistakable thud. There was a pause, then the sound of scritchy little bug feet on the pillow beside my ear. They paused again, then took a jump, and landed on my neck.

Whoa there! I sat up quickly, brushing said bug off hurriedly and turning on the light. Ibs looked over, curious. I had located a very fat black clicker beetle and was corralling him into my hand for re-depositing outside.

There! That’s done. Peace at last. Aaaaahhhhhh, time for a good sleep… I was SO very tired…

And the wings sounded again. The thud. The scritch of little bug feet on my pillow. The jump onto my neck.

I turned on the light again. Oh, it’s a moth this time. A long, lean, brown-backed, prickle-tailed fellow with a mischievous look in his beady black eyes. I corralled him as well and deposited him in the great outdoors.

And again came the sequence, this time a funky variety of May fly.

Then another moth.

Then an unidentified beetle.

The whole situation proceeded to repeat itself with surprising regularity for the next thirty minutes. The buzzing, the thuds, the running across my pillow, the jumping onto my neck… until Ibs began to wonder why I was turning the light on so often.

After a long time, I lay there thinking. I was tired: it had been a long day, and being dive-bombed by hordes of bugs late at night wasn’t on my bucket list. I wondered if it was going to be a long night, and I rather regretted not thinking about the screen sooner!

But: this is the kind of situation we all face in life. Often. And most of the time it’s a whole lot bigger than just a crowd of little bugs with tickly feet and an attraction to our necks. Besides, I like bugs anyway.

I realized that I had a choice: How do I respond to life’s little curve-balls? Do I let them get to me, in bits of irritation or the quick flash of a negative thought? Or do I laugh, find something light in the situation, be grateful for all the many blessings God has given me, and smile?

Life is good! Let’s keep on smiling…

Ike in the sky

Sunday, August 14, 2016

This is Ike. Ike in a plane. Sans instructor.

This is Ike making his first solo landing.


And.... he made it!! Actually he did an awesome job! His instructor, who has been doing this for 40+ years, said that Ike is one of his absolute best students ever (and he means what he says). Ike's just a natural pilot, who is good at following directions and learning new skills. He's well on his way towards his license and I am soooooooo proud of him...

Handsome man preparing for a life in the service of our King.

It's a winning combo.

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